Belgium vs Russia player ratings

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Belgium secured passage to the knockout rounds following a narrow 1-0 win against Russia.

Despite some enthralling and hugely entertaining matches over the course of the World Cup so far, this one went against the script in a game of nearly chances and insipid football culminated in a match settled by one goal thanks to a 88th minute winner from Divock Origi.

Here we assess the individual performances of those who took to the pitch.


Thibaut Courtois: Regarded as one of the best keepers in the world at the tender age of 22, Courtois was largely untested with just three shot on target from Russia, but was competent and switched on with any danger. 6.

Toby Alderweireld: Fortunate not to concede a penalty after mistiming a challenge on Kanunnikov, which demonstrated his awkwardness on the ball at times and often found his left side a source of dangerous crosses into the box. Provided some semblance of attacking threat in the second half however. Received a yellow late on. 5.

Daniel van Buyten: The veteran's pace was tested on a few occasions with Kokorins occupying the channels, but his intelligence and positional play was still a stand-out 90 percent of the time. Dominant in the air and impressive on the floor. Formidable. 7.

Vincent Kompany: Little threat from the opposition meant Kompany could handle his defensive duties with relative ease and composure. Should have done better for Kokorin's free header, but usually came out on top in any one-on-one situation with his pace and power. 7.

Thomas Vermaelen: Deputising for Jan Vertonghen, the Arsenal man made an instant impact after a clash of heads with Samedov within three minutes. But was largely untested or influential, as a knock sustained in the warm-ups meant Vermaelen lasted just 30 minutes before being substituted. 4.

Marouane Fellaini: Following the Manchester United mans impact off the bench against Algeria, Wilmots awarding the dominant figure with a starting berth in midfield, but it was a day to forget for the Belgian. Playing very advanced, Fellaini couldn't provide a passing option off the ball, leaving Witsel with a bigger task on hand. Uncharacteristically struggled in many 50/50 challenges and aerial duels and characteristically gave away too many free-kicks. 5.

Axel Witsel: The 25 year-old dominated the midfield in a very one-sided affair against Algeria, but with Belgium and Russia sharing equal amounts of possession, this match proved a different proposition altogether. Remained a reliable figure, covered ground well and made timely tackles. Wasn't complemented well in midfield however. 6.

Kevin De Bruyne: The Belgian playmaker cut a frustrated figure for large periods of the Algeria match, but with more room to showcase his talent in a central role, De Bruyne impressed. Starting in a box-to-box role, De Bruyne used his pace and dribbling to exploit space and create openings, while his impressive range of passing remained a feature. 7.

Dries Mertens: One of the few bright sparks in an incredibly dour first half, but even the Napoli wingers standards significantly dropped off in the second half. Direct, pacy and exploitative in the first half, the only thing lacking was end product, but in the second half Mertens was largely anonymous. 6.

Romelu Lukaku: The powerful forward has endured a difficult tournament so far and his performance against Russia continued that discouraging trend. Couldn't provide any attacking threat with his movement too predictable and his hold-up play too loose. Hauled off after 60 minutes and questions will surely start to arise over his starting place in the next match. 4.

Eden Hazard: A similar narrative to the Algeria game for the Chelsea flyer, as he struggled to impose himself during the first half and isolate his fullback with regularity. It was very much the same story in the second half against Russia, but Hazard still showed glimpses and his class shone through in the end, after good work on the right teed up Origi for the winner. 7.


Jan Vertonghen: Culpable for Algeria's only goal in the previous game, Wilmots decided to opt for Vermaelen at left back with Vertonghen dropping to the bench. With Vermaelen picking unable to carry on after an injury, Vertonghen came on for the remaining 60 minutes and again remained unconvincing. Often wasteful in possession, but largely solid against Samedov. 6.

Divock Origi: One of the star introductions against Algeria, Origi came up with the goods again, even if his performance fluctuated slightly. Often showed the same shortcomings as Lukaku with poor or naive movement, but did look more proactive and vibrant and took his goal well. 7.

Kevin Mirallas: Introduced to make an instant impact after Mertens faded, Mirallas managed just that. Went close with a free-kick hitting the bar and had another chance to consolidate a Belgium win, but close-range effort was tame. 6.


Igor Akinfeev: Capello retained his faith in the CSKA keeper following his horror show against South Korea and although he had little to do, Akinfeev was competent and alert to any potential danger, despite having little to do. 6.

Aleksandr Kozlov: Posed by one of the biggest challenges of any player; containing Hazard. Kozlov carried out his duties well and importantly didn't allow any one-on-one duels to ensue with the tricky winger. Competent in his duties, albeit assisted by his teammates well. 6.

Vasili Berezutskiy: The experienced CSKA Moscow defender was a dominant and towering figure at the back due to his height, but was often very suspect  and uncomfortable when dealing with pressure. Tired towards the end and it showed as Hazard breezed past him effortlessly. 6.

Sergei Ignashevich: Impressive performance from the 34 year-old who controlled Lukaku well from the start until his substitution. First to the ball on many occasion, solid in the air and looked to carry the ball out from the defensive well. 7.

Dmitry Kombarov: Couldn't contain the threat of Mertens in the first half, with his pace and trickery coming out on top in nearly every duel. His positioning also came into question during that first half, but there was a marked improvement following the interval. Looked to maraud forward, but should have provided more enticing deliveries from corners. 5.

Denis Glushakov: Competed well in the first half and was at the hub of many 50/50 challenges and aerial duels that the Russians won. However, the midfield man was often wasteful in possession and sometimes negligent of his defensive duties in screening the back four, as he ventured forward in the second half. Industrious. 6.

Viktor Fayzulin: One of few players in the Russian set-up possessing some craft, Fayzulin looked to instantly effect proceedings in the final third and willingly joined the attack with regularity. Impressionable and key to many of Russia's forays and sustained periods of pressure. 7.

Aleksandr Samedov: Looked to make an early impression in the early proceedings and the winger looked destined to have an impressive game. His influence waned as the game progressed however and he didn't pose enough threat against either Vermaelen or Vertonghen at left back. 5.

Oleg Shatov: Couldn't quite effect Russia's chances in the final third from his attacking midfield position, although it wasn't to no avail. Hard-working performance. 6.

Maksim Kanunnikov: Troubled the out of position Alderweireld during the first half and could have earned his side a penalty after Alderweireld caught his leg. The end product and crossing of the 22 year-old was severely lacking however and he endured a poor second half. 6.

Alexander Kokorin: Similar to his striking counterpart on the opposite side, Kokorin toiled upfront and was unable to hold the ball up well to any extent and bring others into play. Provided some issues with his pace and movement into the channels, but missed a gilt-edged chance after a free header six yards out. 5.


Andrey Yeshchenko: Introduced to inject some threat as Russia pushed for a winner, but Yeshchenko was often caught too far forward and it was ultimately, his absence in the Russia defence that Hazard exploited for Origi's winning goal. 4.

Alan Dzagoev: Not enough time. N/A.

Aleksandr Kerzhakov: Not enough time. N/A.

Feel free to offer your verdict in the comments below!

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Jan Vertonghen
Vincent Kompany
Belgium Football
Romelu Lukaku
World Cup
Thomas Vermaelen
Marouane Fellaini
Eden Hazard

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This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

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